Gov. Henry McMaster vetoed a proposal that would have the state health plan cover the cost of birth control for state employees’ dependents.
The governor called it an $8 million annual unfunded mandate.
According to The State newspaper, South Carolina’s state employee health insurance currently covers all forms of prescription birth control for public employees except emergency contraceptives. But their dependents can only receive birth control coverage for medical reasons, not to prevent pregnancy.
The Public Employee Benefit Authority reported nearly 7,200 dependents on the state health plan getting some coverage for contraceptives last year. It estimated that would more than double by an additional 8,700 dependents if the plan provided for birth control coverage for non-medical reasons.
McMaster’s veto noted lawmakers did not set aside $8 million to help the state cover the estimated additional insurance cost for the new coverage.
Legislators will need a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate to override the governor’s veto.